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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Addressing water scarcity in agriculture: how can indigenous or traditional practices help?

Patrick Bahal'okwibale

Dear Colleagues,

The contributions you have been providing are so impressive. As I was reading through them, I am realizing how much valuable knowledge is embedded in local, traditional or indigenous practices. The most promising is that your contributions represent testimonies that the practices could offer such huge opportunities for adaptation to climate change and address the increasing water scarcity.

I have also experienced a traditional practice of sensing the environment to predict an imminent rain: if it feels warm, it will likely rain. Similarly, if a sunny day feels so cool, one should not expect any rain. Every time I check this, it reveals true to me. While I learned this long ago from my grandparents, I have never had the chance to see published evidence that explains this phenomenon. However, I later realized that the same sensations are experienced when an air conditioner is set to increase humidity in the environment: The sensation of heat on the skin could thus be greatly influenced by air humidity. With regards to the indigenous early warning practice, the sensation of heat (or cool) was thus simply a reflection of increasing air moisture leading to a forecasted rainfall (or decreasing air moisture leading to the forecast of absence of rains). 

I am surely not the only one to have been impressed by such traditional effective practices, yet poorly documented in scientific journals. It would thus be opportune if contributions could also address such a barrier.

At this stage, we would be happy if members could read through others' contributions and check if they have additional references that support any of the member's submission. We would really love to receive any such links before the closing of the forum.

Many thanks in advance!